Gongol.com Archives: September 2006
Brian Gongol

September 11, 2006

News South Korean apologia for North Korean missile test
South Korean president says he's not really worried about North Korea's recent missile tests because the missiles couldn't reach the US but were too long-range to hit his own country. Now that's some strange rationalization.

Socialism Doesn't Work China discovers you can't keep up Communism without hero worship
In their case, it's worship of Mao. But naturally, that presents a complication, since hero worship is a lot like religion, and a Communist state just can't handle that.

Socialism Doesn't Work Canadian regulators want no more sexy ads for beer

News NYT reporter on balancing news with action
Kurt Eichenwald has done several investigations into the exploitation of children, and he seems to have a level head about when it's appropriate to break out the moral compass and take action. A scary related thought: It's doubtful that the law has kept pace with the rapidly-improving quality of vector graphics, which allows people to create completely computer-generated images of things like other people that are impossible to distinguish from the real thing. The implications for the clear public role for protecting children from exploitation could be very serious: Does one modification to a real photo make it less exploitative? Would a computer-generated image bearing a strong likeness to a real child qualify as exploitation of that child? These are extremely important questions, but Congress is busy talking about horse meat.

Humor and Good News Onion: "War-torn Middle East seeks solace in religion"
True, painful, and truer still

News Hamas, Fatah to share Palestinian power

Business and Finance Fed researchers: Lots of people prepay mortgages but shouldn't
The habit of paying down mortgages prematurely could be costing a lot of people big bucks in the long run, since they could instead be shoveling more money into tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts

News Canadian TV reporter suspended for writing letter to the editor

Socialism Doesn't Work Chinese government clamps down on the press
Foreign news agencies will be forced to get government approval and to distribute their information through the state-run Xinhua news agency. Thanks to technology, this kind of rule will grow ever more difficult to enforce -- though it's a sign that the Communist government is becoming concerned about the erosion of its authority.

Threats and Hazards CIA officers buying insurance for protection against counterterrorism lawsuits
It's a lot like the FCC's current "Obscenity fines are huge, but we won't tell you what's obscene or not" policy for broadcasters -- by refusing to lay out a clear set of standards in law for exactly what's legal and exactly what's not, the government is exposing CIA agents to needless liability. Quite naturally, a private market to insure them against the liability has emerged -- but it would be a lot simpler (at least according to Ronald Coase) if the law would simply be clear from the beginning and save everyone involved the unnecessary anxiety. It's the undefinedness of the present situation which makes it so dicey.

News Can the US be out of Iraq by 2007?

Water News EPA to start monitoring air quality around animal feeding lots

Graphics Hot-Blooded